Glycolic Acid Microblading and PMU Removal

By PMUHub Editorial Team| Last updated on April 12, 2023

PMUHub’s guide through one of the methods for removing old, unwanted or botched permanent makeup. Read all about PMU and microblading glycolic acid tattoo removal.

acid removal

Image source: Instagram @phiremoval_farnosh.alizadeh

The demand for permanent makeup removal is currently increasing, mostly for 2 reasons.

The first one is because some people want to get rid of an old tattoo, which was done more than 5 years ago and still hasn’t faded. Old brow tattoos used to be done in ink rather than pigments, and they often change color into an unattractive blueish shadow, they don’t fade completely.

Nowadays, microblading and other permanent makeup treatments are done with organic pigments that fade after some time.

The second reason is that microblading and other forms of eyebrow tattoos are currently so popular, that there are too many new, inexperienced artists working without certification. Clients end up getting a disappointing tattoo and need removal.

Besides laser and saline removal, which are very effective, glycolic acid removal is also a technique that can help you get rid of an unwanted cosmetic tattoo.

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What Kind of Tattoos Can Be Removed with Glycolic Acid?

Glycolic acid is used more and more often for removing cosmetic tattoos, and glycolic acid microblading removal is the most commonly requested treatment.

It is also very effective at removing permanent eyeliner tattoos, lip liner tattoos as well as small body tattoos. However, it works only on the epidermis, so it is not really effective with removing big decorative body tattoos done in ink. It can fade them, but not significantly.

Want to find out more about permanent makeup removal? Follow the links:

Permanent Makeup Removal – The Ultimate Guide
PMU Removal Cost
PMU Removal Before and After Gallery

What Kind of Tattoos Can Be Removed with Glycolic Acid?Image source: Instagram @saharkalantari_phi

How Does Glycolic Acid Microblading Removal Work?

Getting your cosmetic tattoo removed with glycolic acid looks a lot like reverse tattooing. First of all, it is important that your cosmetic tattoo is healed, so getting glycolic acid microblading removal in the first 6 weeks after the treatment is not allowed.

So, to remove the tattoo, the removal tech will break the skin open and insert the glycolic acid solution into the skin. The solution almost immediately starts working and draws the pigment out by forming scabs that pull out the pigment.

It is important not to pick the scabs and let them fall off on their own, to avoid scaring.

Glycolic acid microblading removal may take more than one session.

How Many Sessions of Glycolic Acid Eyebrow Tattoo Removal Do I Need?

This depends on many factors, but the most important is how saturated your tattoo is. Most clients need 2 to 6 sessions to completely remove their old PMU.

If the tattoo is done with pigments and it is not too saturated, and the artist didn’t go too deep, you can get good results even after the first session.

Book a consultation appointment with the removal tech so that they can assess the situation.

How Long Do I Have to Wait Between Glycolic Acid Eyebrow Tattoo Removal Sessions?

After each session, your eyebrows, eyelids or lips will take some time to heal completely. This is required to avoid permanent scarring. Therefore, you will need to wait 6 to 8 weeks before you take another session of glycolic acid microblading and PMU removal.

How Long Do I Have to Wait Between Glycolic Acid Eyebrow Tattoo Removal Sessions?Image source: Instagram @dermostudio_valerie

Glycolic Acid Microblading and PMU Removal Healing Process

The inserted glycolic acid solution pulls the pigment out of the skin by forming the scabs. So, the spot where you had your old tattoo or PMU will be scabby, and each new scab will pull the pigment out. So, basically, your tattoo is fading while healing.

Aftercare for Glycolic Acid Microblading Removal

The healing process requires special care. Here are the most important tips to follow during the glycolic acid microblading and PMU aftercare.

  • Gently remove the lymph build-up 2-3 times a day during the first 2 days but keep the area dry.
  • From day 3, use a moisturizer recommended by the technician to help the wound heal faster and to minimize itching.
  • Let the scabs fall off on their own. Don’t pick them, or you risk permanent scarring.
  • Showering can be tricky. Keep the area away from water during the first two days. Avoid heat, hot water, heavy sweating, swimming, and sun exposure until the wound is healed.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Avoid high-pressure water.
  • Refrain from alcohol and smoking.

Is Glycolic Acid Tattoo Removal Effective for Every PMU Treatment?

Glycolic acid can be used to remove a brow tattoo, permanent eyeliner, as well as permanent lip liner. Scalp micopigmentation is not removed with glycolic acid, the area is too big and the only effective way is to go for a laser removal treatment.

Is Glycolic Acid Tattoo Removal Effective for Every PMU Treatment?Image source: Instagram @sasenka_phiremoval

Is Glycolic Acid Removal Safe?

If you find a professional artist certified to perform glycolic acid microblading removal, it is a safe treatment. The risk of scarring is reduced and the side effects will be minimal.

Apart from that, there is the question of how your skin will react. The chemicals used contain many ingredients, some of which can cause allergic reactions. Therefore, the best thing is to do a patch test before the treatment.

Aftercare is also crucial. If you pick the scabs, you risk scarring. If you don’t treat the area properly and don’t clean the wound, you risk getting an infection.

Is Glycolic Acid Microblading Removal Painful?

The amount of pain is similar to what you felt when you got your eyebrows microbladed. The skin is broken again and the solution is inserted. Removal technicians use a numbing solution to ease the discomfort, but some people find it really uncomfortable nevertheless, while others don’t see it as a painful treatment.

How Much Does Glycolic Acid Removal Cost?

The treatment is a bit more expensive than saline and laser removal, with an average price of $400 per session. The prices, however, go from $100 to $700, which depends on many factors, such as the experience of the tech, the material used and the exclusivity of the salon. So, you can find glycolic acid microblading removal at much more affordable prices.

Glycolic Acid Tattoo Removal Pros and Cons

The benefits:

  • It’s effective
  • It works for almost all PMU procedures
  • It works for all pigment colors
  • It’s safe for dark skin, too
  • Allegedly, it causes less scabbing than saline

The downsides:

  • It can get pricey, since you need multiple sessions
  • It can drag out for months
  • There’s a risk of permanent scarring and infection, albeit minimal
  • It entails a healing process after each session

Glycolic Acid Microblading and PMU Removal – Main Takeaways

Glycolic acid microblading and PMU removal is one of the most effective ways to remove an old PMU or a small tattoo. It works for almost all PMU treatments and can remove pigments of any color, unlike laser, which doesn’t work for reddish and yellow pigments. It requires multiple sessions – 2 to 6 usually – each priced at around $400. The sessions need to be booked 6-8 weeks apart in order to allow the skin to heal properly. It is expected to become more advanced and popular in the future.



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